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Do you have the hook-up?
Pastor's corner
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I recently returned to my hometown of Pine Bluff, Ark., which is about 45 minutes south of Little Rock, Ark., and has a population of more than 55,000 people. I spent a whole week enjoying the old neighborhood, relaxing with family and gazing in amazement at how things have changed.
This much-needed getaway stirred up a lot of memories from my high school years. During those years, I bragged about how many people I knew who worked in restaurants. At one point, I could go into almost any fast-food restaurant and find a friend who would give me “the hook-up.” These friends always made sure that I never left their restaurants hungry, and I only paid a minimal fee. There were no questions asked, no hassles, no harsh words ever were spoken. Because we had good relationships and looked out for each other, my friends made sacrifices to help me.
The Biblical passage John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
God loved us so much that he gave his very best. He did not question our worthiness; he only proved his love for us. I know even those who are faithful sometimes struggle to understand why God would give so much when we feel like we’re worth so little. We find the answer in 1 Samuel 16:7. It says, “For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
In addition to giving us His Son, God provided us with His Holy Spirit, which gives us power, comforts us and guides us into all truth. When you receive what God has given, I call that “the hook-up.”
Of course, I now realize that I probably was doing something illegal during my high school years by accepting deeply discounted food, but thank God for grace!
I am grateful to know that God has given me “the hook-up” and I’ve found favor with Him. Despite my situation, I know that He will not allow me to fail because I have a relationship with Him. My question to you is, “Do you have the hook-up?”

Hayes is president of the United Ministerial Alliance and pastor of New Day Outreach Ministry.

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